Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and laundromat owners create business plans to start and grow their laundry businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your laundry business as it stands today, and lays out your business growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start or grow an existing laundromat or dry cleaning business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your laundromat in order to improve your chances of success. Your laundry business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your business grows and changes.
Source of Funding for Laundromats
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a laundromat are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a laundromat is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a laundromat as they tend to focus on modern technology companies with quick and explosive growth potential.
How to Write a Laundromat Business Plan
Your own business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key component of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of laundry business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a laundromat that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of laundromats.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the laundry industry. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your laundromat marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial and sales forecast.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of laundry business you are operating.
For example, you might operate a traditional laundromat in which you offer coin-operated washing machines and dryers. Or, you might (also) offer fluff and fold services in which your staff washes and folds your customers’ laundry. This latter service could also include home/office pickup and delivery. Be sure to explore all dry cleaning and laundry services that could be of benefit to your target demographic.
In addition to explaining the type of laundromat you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales forecasts, goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the laundry business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the laundromat industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards fluff & fold, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for offering such a service.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your laundry business plan:
- How big is the laundry industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s future growth over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your new laundry business plan must detail the patrons you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of laundromat you operate. Clearly, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.
Try to break out your target customer base in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most laundromats primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers. For example, middle-class households may value clean laundry above all else, while upper-class households may value convenience most of all.
How to Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your laundromat business plan?
With Growthink’s Ultimate Laundromat Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!
Click here to finish your business plan today.
In this section, you should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other laundromats.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes washing machines/dryers in consumers’ homes or living environments (e.g., in college dorms). You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs their clothing washed frequents a laundromat.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other laundromats with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be laundromats located close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of clientele do they serve?
- What services do they offer (self-serve laundry, wash & fold, dry cleaning, etc.)?
- What are their business hours?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to stand outside your competitors’ locations and ask customers as they leave what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior services?
- Will you provide additional services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire the services offered?
- Will you offer any additional amenities such as a coffee bar or free wi-fi access?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
- Will you offer more payment options suitable for your customer base?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, the marketing section of the business plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a solid laundromat business plan, you should include the following:
Product: in the product section, you should reiterate the type of business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific services you will be offering. For example, in addition to washing and drying machines, will you offer fluff & fold, dry cleaning, etc.
Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place: Place refers to the location of your laundry business. Document your strategic locations and mention how each location will impact your success. For example, is your business located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc.? Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to offer fluff & fold services, detail the geographic area you will serve.
Promotions: the final part is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will create awareness and drive potential customers to your location(s). You might consider the following strategies to help promote your services:
- Making your storefront extra appealing to attract passing customers
- Social media marketing
- Marketing in local papers and magazines
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your business such as serving customers, procuring supplies, keeping the store clean, maintaining laundry equipment, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your X,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.
To demonstrate your ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a business.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the laundromat business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in laundromats and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
Income Statement: an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will your sales strategy help you grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheet: While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your new laundromat, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Start-up expenses if starting a new business
- Cost of laundry equipment like washers and dryers
- Cost of fixtures like folding tables, vending machines, counters, and lighting
- Cost of supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint or location lease.
Putting together a new business plan for your business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing strategy and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful laundromat.
Download Our Laundromat Business Plan PDF
You can download our laundromat business plan here. This is a sample business plan template you can use in PDF format.
How to Finish Your Laundromat Business Plan in 1 Day!
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?
With Growthink’s Ultimate Laundry Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!
Click here to finish your business plan today.
OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies and entrepreneurs that have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how a Growthink business consultant can create your business plan for you.
Laundromat Business Plan FAQs
Growthink's Ultimate Laundromat Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Laundromat Business Plan.
You can download our sample laundromat business plan here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.